Three Jewish youths have been arrested after over the brutal beating of two Arab residents of east Jerusalem with iron bars and baseball bats.

The two Palestinians, 20-year-olds Amir Shweiki and Samer Mahfouz, were attacked last Friday by a Jewish mob of 12 men as they were walking in the settlement of Neve Yaakov and beaten unconscious, according to Haaretz. They had just finished an iftar dinner following the Ramadan's fast.

One of the men was in intensive care but conscious and "doing well", according to a spokeswoman for Jerusalem's Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital, where the youths were taken.

The other was in a surgical ward. He told Haaretz that a Jewish man approached him asking for a cigarette. "I told him I don't have any, and he heard I'm Arab and went away, coming back with his friends, maybe 12 people. They had sticks and iron bars and they hit us over the head."

Tensions in annexed east Jerusalem increased when a 17-year-old Palestinian, Mohammed Abu Khudair, was kidnapped on 2 July and later found burned alive. Police arrested six alleged Jewish extremists as suspects and charged three of them.